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Dan Carter denies potential move to Japan


Dan Carter has denied that he is planning a move to Japan

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Article Published: Wednesday 6 March 2013


All Blacks and Crusaders star Dan Carter has denied that he is about to sign a deal to play Rugby in Japan but has not ruled out a move to the big-money league.

Thirty-one-year-old Carter spent a season with Perpignan in France between 2008 and 2009 and has not ruled out a move to Japan.

The All Black world cup winner's stint in France did not go entirely as planned as he only lasted five matches before being sidelined by injury.

Carter is one of the highest-profile players in world rugby and is under contract with New Zealand until 2015 but has a clause allowing him to take a sabbatical built into the agreement.

Carter dismissed suggestions he had already signed with a Japanese club but conceded his management had tested potential interest in both Europe and Japan.

"(They) are just throwing it out there, and talking to a few clubs and players," he told reporters after training with his Super Rugby club the Crusaders.

He added: "I am nowhere near signing any deal or getting closer to deciding what I am going to do or whether I take my sabbatical or not. I am still not any closer to making a decision."

Japanese national team coach Eddie Jones told Fairfax Media last month that Carter could command a salary of more than $1 million if he played a stint in Japan.

While Carter would not be eligible for the All Blacks while playing in Japan, he could return to the New Zealand side after a spell in the Top League, following in the footsteps of centre Ma'a Nonu.

The New Zealand Rugby Union would probably prefer Carter to take a sabbatical in Japan as the injury risk there is arguably much lower than in Europe as the style of rugby is less physical.

All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw also has a sabbatical clause built into his New Zealand Rugby Union contract, which he is currently exercising to sit out most of the Super Rugby season and travelling the world.

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